Recent break-ins raise safety concerns for holiday season

Safety tips for the holidays

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Local law enforcement may regard the next few weeks as the season of stealing instead of the season of giving.

Police typically receive more calls during the holidays regarding thieves breaking into people's cars or homes.

The Jonesboro Police Department reported at least four residential burglaries this weekend, where it's unknown who broke into several people's homes and stole items like gaming systems and jewelry.

These incidents should arise more frequently in the next few months, but police say there are a few things people can do to prevent a Grinch from stealing Christmas.

"It's common knowledge that people buy presents. They either have them in their cars, or they get them home," said Corporal Brad Snyder with the Paragould Police Department. "It's common people know that those things are in homes and in cars, so that's where they target."

Cpl. Snyder says Paragould police are just like any other during the holidays. Officers work more break-ins and burglaries, but people themselves from becoming victims.

He suggests that people keep their car doors locked when out shopping for gifts and also cover up any items inside their cars.

"That's the big thing," he said, "keeping things out of sight from would-be thieves."

He says, at people's homes, they should trim tall shrubs or trees that may the view of windows and doors.

"We're driving around 24/7, 365 days a year," Cpl. Snyder said, "and so we're out looking when we're in neighborhoods for things out of the ordinary. If somebody's at a window or something like that, if it's covered up by shrubbery, then we can't see them."

For those who waited to shop until Cyber Monday, Cpl. Snyder advises them to watch closely when deliveries are made.

"It's like we tell people when they're traveling," he said. "If you're traveling, have someone pick your newspaper up, have somebody get your mail, things of that nature. Those are just little things that you can do to help prevent becoming a victim."

Even after the holiday has passed, police ask people to be discrete about discarding any boxes.

"I always encourage people to get rid of those boxes," Cpl. Snyder said, "so nobody knows what was bought or what was purchased or given."

Police also say people should keep a record of their belongings and write down their serial numbers.

That way, if anything is stolen, officers may have an easier time tracking down those items.

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